Kilmore firefighter Lieutenant Dionne Quinn is one of almost 55,000 Country Fire Authority volunteers who are being celebrated throughout National Volunteer Week.
A CFA member for 10 years, it’s a family affair for Ms Quinn, who is one of five sisters to volunteer in fire brigades, including one with the New South Wales Rural Fire Service and three at CFA brigades.
Her mother and three daughters have also volunteered in recent years.
Last year, Ms Quinn was deployed to New South Wales to help with fires near Glen Innes.
Ms Quinn said volunteering was all about small communities looking after each other, something she had experienced first-hand.
“In all honesty, I would have been lost without this brigade,” she said.
“During my marriage breakdown and through the cancer, I would have members dropping off lollies after chemo and pain relief, they always looked after me.
“It is a cliché that it’s like a family but they really are. They look out for me, they look out for my kids, they look out for my granddaughter.
“To me it’s really important. If I’m looking after my community, they’ll look after me. It’s just basically having each other’s back.
“Whether it is in the CFA or personally, the way the brigade pulled together for me and my girls, I think that’s what I’m most proud of – the way we all pull together regardless of our backgrounds, our education, work life, family life, and we’re always with each other no matter what.”
Ms Quinn said one of the things she was most proud of during her decade of volunteering with Kilmore Fire Brigade was to be able meet someone she helped at a car accident and seeing their recovery.